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This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including a new report from Pew on Americans’ attitudes toward different energy sources, new battleground polling on a potential reconciliation package in Congress, and new polling about carbon removal.
Legislation along the lines of the Build Back Better Act is overwhelmingly popular in key U.S. Senate battlegrounds, with clear electoral benefits for incumbents if it passes. On the specific question of how support for this legislation would translate to electoral benefits for incumbents who back it, the poll finds that voters in the four battlegrounds (Nevada, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Arizona) are 23 to 33 points more likely to say that the legislation would make them more inclined to vote for their incumbent than less inclined. 14% of those who do not currently approve of the incumbent say they would be more likely to vote for them if they help pass this legislation. Across the four states, 62% say they would be more motivated and enthusiastic about voting in the elections this November if Congress took action and actually passed this legislation. Democrats in particular would be more motivated to vote (81%), including many Democrats who currently express a lower degree of enthusiasm about voting.
This post includes a roundup of climate + environment headlines from this week’s public polls, good data points to highlight, and a full roundup with key takeaways from each poll - including lots of timely new polling on the Build Back Better plan.
- Yahoo + YouGov - Americans support Biden’s “$3.5 trillion infrastructure plan” by double digits, and a plurality support using the budget reconciliation process to overcome a Republican filibuster (Topline, Crosstabs)
- POLITICO + Morning Consult - Voters widely support tax breaks for renewable energy in the reconciliation bill, even when it’s framed as a Democratic proposal (Topline, Crosstabs)
- Data for Progress + Invest in America - Voters support the Build Back Better plan by a two-to-one margin after reading an explanation of its components; grid modernization continues to be one of the plan’s most popular provisions (Release, Topline)
- LCV + Climate Power - Majorities of voters across Democratic-held U.S. Senate battleground states (AZ, CO, GA, NH + NV) support the Build Back Better plan after a brief description, and majorities also reject the idea of trimming the bill down; top messages focus on jobs, pollution/health, and lowering utility bills (Deck, Memo, AZ Topline, CO Topline, GA Topline, NH Topline, NV Topline)
- Navigator - Climate is rising as a national priority; two in five voters say that weather in their community this summer has been different from past years, and most who have experienced unusual weather cite climate change as the reason (Release, Deck, Topline)
- Data for Progress - “Green jobs” are a confusing concept for voters (Memo)
- Yale Program on Climate Change Communication - Moderates have similar reactions to “climate change” and “extreme weather” as the rationale for emergency preparedness actions and policies, but there are benefits to using “extreme weather” with conservative audiences (Article)
Survey data from 19 competitive House districts across the US revealed strong support (59%), across party lines, for the American Jobs Plan. Notably, the provisions that would address the climate crisis garnered even stronger support than the overall infrastructure plan did.
Among the specific provisions designed to address the climate crisis:
- 82% of voters support investments to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize public transportation to ensure it is cleaner and able to serve more people.
- 81% of voters support overhauling our country’s drinking water infrastructure.
- 70% of voters support addressing the challenge of climate change by shifting to greater use of clean energy, reducing carbon pollution from vehicles and industry, and making homes and buildings more energy efficient.
- 69% of voters support investments in clean energy such as wind and solar power by extending tax credits to spur innovation and manufacturing.
- 61% of voters support investments in electric vehicles and charging stations to reduce pollution and help more Americans buy clean cars.
Key findings of a survey (phone and online) of US voters, with oversamples in key states include:
- Voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support government investments in clean energy technologies in order to rebuild the economy (77%), create good jobs (76%), and eliminate the carbon emissions that cause climate change (75%).
- There's a widespread belief (75%) that investing in clean energy technologies will have economic benefits – including for "regular people."
- And also that by developing new clean technologies, we can replace many of the manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs that the country has lost over the last few decades (72%)
- Strong support for various approaches to boost and develop specific clean energy technologies such as clean steel and cement, clean jet fuels, and energy storage and transmission.
- Voters support investing $75 billion in clean energy tech RD&D as part of the upcoming infrastructure bill.
Americans overwhelmingly support updating and strengthening the methane standards and regulations. Even after being shown balanced pro and con messaging, people support touger methane regulations by a nearly 5:1 margin. Curtailing leaks and releases of methane has broad support across all major demographics, including 2-to-1 support among Republicans.
75% of millennials say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to clean energy, but 44% of millennials do not see a difference between Clinton and Trump on this issue. 44% also prefer Clinton’s views on transitioning to clean energy; only 12% prefer Trump’s.